What To Make Of The Blackhawks Crowded Blue Line

What has been made abundantly clear over the past two weeks is that the Chicago Blackhawks’ blue line is going to look different when the puck drops on the 2019-20 season.

But will it be better?

And why are they stockpiling defensemen making $4M?

Here’s what they’ve added thus far since the season ended:

  • Olli Maatta
    6-2, 206
    Shoots: Left
    DOB: 08/22/1994
    Contract: $4,550,000 AAV thru 2021-22
    2018-19 Season:
    60 games, 1 goal, 13 assists, 14 points, 97 hits, 116 blocked shots
    ATOI: 18:35 (SH ATOI: 2:01)

 

  • Calvin de Haan
    6-1, 195
    Shoots: Left
    DOB: 05/09/1991
    Contract: $4,083,333 AAV thru 2021-22
    2018-19 Season:
    74 games, 1 goal, 13 assists, 14 points, 187 hits, 106 blocked shots
    ATOI: 18:31 (SH ATOI: 1:59)

OK, so on paper the Blackhawks have traded for… the same player twice? Maatta and de Haan are almost the same size, both is a left-handed shot, they both make over $4M for three more years and they both had… wait for it… 14 point last year. They averaged almost identical ice time last year and there was a two-second difference between their short-handed ice time average.

de Haan obviously is three years older and is the more physically aggressive player; he piled up 90 more hits in 14 extra games.

For shits and giggles, what do these two new Hawks look like next to Connor Murphy?

  • Connor Murphy
    6-4, 212
    Shoots: Right
    DOB: 03/26/1993
    Contract: $3,850,000 AAV thru 2021-22
    2018-19 Season:
    52 games, 5 goals, 8 assists, 13 points, 119 hits, 91 blocked shots
    ATOI: 19:29 (SH ATOI: 2:06)

 

Need healthy bodies

The Blackhawks will need Maatta and de Haan to be healthy.

Maatta has dealt with cancer and a significant hip injury that made him one of the slower skaters in the NHL last year; he might give Seabrook a walk for his money in the speed testing.

In a game against Colorado on March 12, de Haan was hit in the eye by the blade of Alexander Kerfoot’s on the follow-through of a shot. De Haan left the game and was evaluated at a hospital before being released. de Haan suffered a shoulder injury against Pittsburgh on March 31 but returned for Game 4 of the first-round playoff series against Washington. He had surgery in late May and is expected to be out 4-6 months, putting the beginning of the 2019-20 season in question.

Crowded blue line

When we put these guys into the mix on the Blackhawks’ depth chart, it’s suddenly a very crowded space.

The current Blackhawks defensive group consists of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Erik Gustafsson, Slater Koekkoek, Carl Dahlstrom, Murphy, Maatta and now de Haan.

The cost of those eight defensemen: $27,871,795.

Murphy is one of two right-handed shots among the Blackhawks’ eight defensemen on the NHL roster (with Seabrook); that eight does not include Henri Jokiharju, Adam Boqvist or Dennis Gilbert, all three of whom have signed a contract.

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has added three defensemen with decent size in their mid-20s who should average around two minutes per night short-handed – assuming the Blackhawks continue taking dumb penalties. The hope, of course, is that Maatta and de Haan improve a PK unit that was historically bad last year. In giving coach Jeremy Colliton options not-named-Keith-or-Seabrook the PK unit could/should improve.

Something’s Gotta Give

Chicago needs to keep next summer’s expansion draft in mind. The Hawks will need to make a number of players available to Seattle; this will clear a spot for one of the younger players and get money off the books. But that assumes all of these players make it to the start of the coming season on the roster in Chicago.

The likelihood that the Blackhawks open the 2019-20 season with all eight of these defensemen on the roster is slim. Chicago has been rumored to be significantly more active in trade conversations than free agency.

And then this nugget dropped on Monday:

Will the Blackhawks look to move one of the better defensemen in the history of the organization?

It’s possible.

It’s also possible that one of the less expensive depth defensemen – Dahlstrom or Koekkoek – is dealt to a team with cap issues.

What’s clear is that Bowman intends on fixing last season’s problems, and he’s working to do it before free agency begins.

122 thoughts on “What To Make Of The Blackhawks Crowded Blue Line

  1. Would’ve laughed if you told me ths deal would happen. Like the return Dehaan for 2 players not in the mix. Sounds like Keith, De haan, Maatta on the left right now. Stay tuned i guess on Seabrook.

  2. Agree with stockpiling $4M D men on long term years re cap hits.

    Since De Haan is far better than Maata, maybe Bowman can trade Maata back to Pittsburgh for Kahun.

  3. The only thing Seabrook has done quickly is sign that ridiculous contract…thanks Stan! He would be in the AHL on any NHL team if they could send him there. Nobody wants a slow overpaid D man who the last person he hit was by mistake. Great example for all the young Hawks…suck the team dry till the end…show them it’s all about the $$$ not the contribution! Bowman will have a tribute night and video to thank Seabrook for the damage he’s done the past 3 + years. This version of Hawks will have to average 4 goals a game to make the first round of the playoffs to be eliminated.

  4. The 5v5 defense and PK should be better this season, maybe significantly better. Adding Maatta and de Haan, along with Murphy, all having 3 years remaining on their contracts, solidifies the 3/4/5 d-men for the next few years and gives Joki, Boqvist, Beaudin and other d-prospects time to play lesser roles in the NHL or marinate in the AHL.

    The defense and PK were the main reasons why the Hawks didn’t make the playoffs in 2018/19. If the Hawks miss the playoffs again next season – it shouldn’t be because the defense was as god-awful as it was last season.

  5. deHaan starts the year on IR. No rush bringing him back. We need him in the second half of the season + playoff run.

  6. Good post. Murphy could be dealt, but Gus is still the wild card. As has been pointed out, if he is traded now there is virtually no offence coming from the back next year. If he is not traded and has another productive year, it is unlikely there will be enough to pay him if the other guys are kept and the risk then is letting him walk for very little. Promises to be interesting.

  7. Craig – and Dahlstrom and KK start in RKF unless they’re traded or unless Seabs is traded or Gus is traded or (god no) Murphy is traded

    I don’t think they’ll trade Gus (or let him walk a UFA) until Boq is ready and I hope they don’t trade Murphy

    Barring unforeseen trades Seabs will play top 6 until DeHaan is healthy then maybe he rotates in every few games – that’s probably the scenario that gives the Hawks their best possible D corps

    DeHaan, Keith, Maatta, Joki, Murphy, Gus with Seabs subbing in occasionally

    It’s an awful use of $7 mil but you gotta ice your best team – maybe he can be traded sometime somehow or put on LTIR sometime somehow

  8. What was the Defense group at start of season 19

    19-Keith Gusto Murf Joki Manning Rutta Forsling Seabs

    20-Keith Gusto Murf Joki Haan Maata KoKo Seabs

    Night and Day.

  9. Seabs will be the #7 d-man this season. A very expensive #7. However I think due to his leadership ability he will be something of a player-coach. I don’t like hearing some posters beating up on Seabs. He’s an outstanding guy who is one of the big reasons the Hawks won 3 Cups. Players decline after time and Seabs has declined.
    I think Seabs will lift his no trade clause and allow the Hawks to expose him in the expansion draft. Seattle is close to his home in BC and Seattle will appreciate the leadership he will bring with him.

  10. No disrespect to anyone’s opinion on this board by saying this, but does anyone think that Jokiharju is *that* good that he won’t be moved? Left handed shot in a crowded D-corp who is on the edge NHL-wise. I have never seen Boqvist play, but he is often talked about as being the second coming on this board. So much so that it’s assumed that he would run the PP in place of Gustafsson, even though he’s yet to play an NHL game. To me that would seem to make Jokiharju movable with his upside. It seems like Stan is making moves to win now, and it doesn’t seem like he’s been all that excited about moving Gustafsson based on his comments starting with last season. Could Jokiharju be included in some package deal to, let’s say, remove Anisimov so that a splash forward/center move is more doable? Is Anisimov’s contract really movable at this point without sweetening the pot?

  11. For the record I love Seabs and Dunks and Sharpy and Hoss and Tazer and Kaner.

    Not sure if anyone said anything bad about 7 just trying to have the best roster for future coming yrs.

  12. Indian, not sure right now but I would say Buckaroo is 2nd best of the Four Horsemen. I would rather one of the other two Beau or Mitch (college status free ucfa?)

    15 must be able to be moved without a high end prospect (1st or early enough 2nd) to do it.

  13. Think were still at 12m in cap space so it doesnt Have to be this summer. We can not keep someone after 20 season if need be.

    Bowman did say wks ago that we have more then a full roster, so what. We ll then make it fit before game 1.

  14. Big Indian, Jokiharju shoots right handed. He is an RD – not a LD. Capfreindly has him listed as LD, and he played a few games for the Hawks at LD – but he is a natural RD and that’s what he played mostly for the Hawks last season and at Rockford.

    Jokiharju is way to valuable to trade unless it’s for an outrageous offer. He’s just scratching the surface and he projects to be a solid top-4 if not not top-2 d-man who is good defensively, moves well, passes well and has a good point shot. He should be one of the d-corps for the next 10 years.

  15. The Hawks record last season was 36-34-12 for 84 points. Of the 46 losses, 21 of them were by 1 goal – 9 in regular time and obviously the 12 in OT.

    The Hawks were shorthanded 231 times last season and gave up 63 goals on the PK with a woeful 72.7% PK kill percentage – last in the league. If their PK was middle of the pack at around 79.9%, they would have given up 46 goals on the PK – that’s a difference of 17 goals. How many of those (21) 1-goal games would have resulted in 2 points instead of 1 point or 0 points had the PK been merely middle of the road instead of historically awful?

    Probably enough to have made the playoffs last season. Maatta and de Haan will help make the PK better than it was last season.

  16. Possibilities now could be to start year as is.
    Keith Gus
    De haan Murphy
    Maatta Jokiharuu
    Seabrook
    As Craig said De haan out, 4 to 6 months saying so be mid sept to mid nov return, a chance to look at Boqvist until he returns.
    More than likely someone moved. Big Indian i hope Jokiharju stays but with
    Keith Maatta, Murphy and De haan under contract for next 3 years or 4 for a couple of them. Doesn’t seem to be alot of room to bring in young defense, with Seabrook 5 more yrs too.
    Hate say it but would Joki move Seabrooks contract and have Gus, Murphy and Boqvist be the right side end game.

  17. Please stop referencing how great of a locker room guy seabrook is. The last 4 postseasons:
    Eliminated 1st rd
    Eliminated 1st rd
    No playoffs
    No playoffs

    This season, he will likely be scratched more than he plays.

    How’s that locker room presence going to work when he’s making his 6 and Strome and Debrincat are haggling with management over pennies

    He was a great player. He’s not anymore. The team is better off not dressing him. If the squad is stronger with him off the ice and one of these youngsters make. 1/7th the $$$ he does. Fine. The goal is to win games. Not placate a relic of a fading dynasty. Put your best defense on the ice. Not your most expensive!!!!

  18. Proper top 4 D and an intriguing prospect. Not much lost from the roster. Nice trade. Fills a hole.

    The Kahun for Maatta trade really looks like garbage now. I say we trade them again and throw in another 5th round pick.

    We still don’t have a top pair but maybe that’s ok. It’s almost like we have 2a 2b and 2c pairs. Given the youth in the pipeline having 6 middle pair D might be better than making a huge splash in the market for a top D. I had never considered that strategy. Gotta say… intriguing.

  19. Travis – exactly right. We still don’t have a top pair. But the players we added are better than what we had. That is important because that pushes players back in team ranking into slots more suited for their play. Also, we have more balance now in that we have someone besides Seabrook playing defense that knows where the defensive end of the rink is located (unfortunately it has become a long skate for him to get out of it once he is down there!). Our goalies may learn their names before the year is over cuz they will see the back of the Dman’s jersey up close where the name is located!

    Seriously, a little more balance and a little more depth to our defense. These are good things. Steps in the right direction. Stanley Cup contending defense – not yet. But definitely improved. We can fake a top pair this year much better than we could last year.

    Still want to see a top pair guy though. Just 1 would make me happy. Please. I think it may happen.

  20. I must be missing something (a real possibility), but I don’t understand the rationale for this idea that now that we’ve acquired de Haan, we should trade Maatta or Murphy. The primary objective of this off season was to improve the d-corps, with the caveat of not breaking the bank. It seems to me that objective has been met quite nicely … so why detract from the d-corps now? Maatta and de Haan are not super star players – they’re middle pair d-men who are good defensively and paid accordingly. The same as Murphy. They are the type of players we were looking for when this off season started. The d-corps today is better than it was in 2018/19 – probably good enough in not being a limitation to making the playoffs.

    Beyond the 2019/20 season, the 3-year contracts of Maatta, de Haan and Murphy work very well with the timeline to ease some of the 4-horsemen into the lineup. Jokiharju probably plays full time this season with the plan to bring in Boqvist in 2020/21 when Gustafsson leaves. Beaudin, Mitchell, Carlsson and others can spot in over the couple seasons after that.

    Leave the d-corps alone. Now go make the forward group “harder to play against”.

  21. Gus is the wild card in all of this. There are three basic options:

    1) Sell high on him now (and decimate the PP and 3×3 this year)

    2) Re-up him and have to out move out one of 2/4/7/Maatta/De Haan

    3) Keep him this year and then let him walk (and get nothing or next to back)

    Tough call.

  22. By adding Quenneville and Saarela, Stan has acquired two really good AHL players who bring call-up depth at the very minimum. Both will be hungry to compete for a spot with the Hawks in training camp. Rockford failed to make the playoffs last year and it would be a great experience for many of their young players like Gilbert and Carlsson and many others up front including Havel, Reece Johnson, Kurashev, Soderstrom to play playoff hockey.

  23. In what world is Gustafsson a better defenseman than Jokiharyu? I get that Joki is young and hasn’t hit his ceiling yet, so we don’t know “exactly” how good he will be, but Joki projects to be at least top four and possibly/probably top pairing on a playoff caliber team. I love Gus, but his defense makes him a liability in the top four. He is old enough that his defense is not likely to improve, so all you are left with is essentially an extra forward playing the role of defenseman. You don’t trade you best defenseman prospect to offload salary just so you can keep Gus. It makes zero sense to me.

    You either trade Gus before the season starts to try and get the most value for him now, or you ride his team friendly contract for the year and see if you can move him at the deadline. There is little to no reason for the Hawks to overpay to keep him after this season. No one is going to trade for him next offseason because I see no chance he doesn’t go to free agency to get the biggest contract he can. And I don’t see how the Hawks are going to be able to afford him next year if they intend on keeping both DeBrincat and Strome.

    Really baffled by the love for Gus and lack of same for Joki.

  24. We make moves to strengthen the defense and already people are figuring out who has to go. Let things play out – I’m guessing SB is not done dealing plus during the year there will always be injuries. I agree with ER – leave it alone.

    Regarding Gus, the guy improved more in one year than anyone I can recall in recent memory. Finding a guy that can run the PP and puts up 60 points is not easy to do. If he gets moved it better be for a substantial package. My bet is that he remains a key guy this year.

  25. SB says he is looking for a good P.K. forward ideally with only a year left on their contract. Cody Eakin would fit nicely and Vegas needs cap relief.

  26. I think the part that ER missed in the “OK, now trade _____” talk w/ the defensemen is that the Hawks have 8 guys on the NHL roster NOT including Jokiharju. So at least 1, if not 2 bodies need to go away. It isn’t a money thing. It’s a roster space thing.

    I agree that Maatta, de Haan and Murphy is much better than the dumpster fire that started last year. And I’m still a believer in both Dahlstrom & Gilbert. But there are simply too many bodies.

  27. This is a long winded comment to explain my thoughts on why one of Maatta/de Haan/Murphy don’t fit on the roster together…

    @ER regarding trading one of Murphy or Maatta now that we have de Haan. I think the rationale is that they are redundant as all were brought in to play a shutdown role.

    To me it’s all about figuring out which combinations work out the best. I am going to make an assumption that both Keith and Seabrook are on the roster and are not moved. So let’s start there and fit the best combination of players around them.

    Keith is still #1D on the Hawks and top pair, who plays next to him? Joki? Murphy? Gus? Seabs? Jokie should, but may not be ready. Murphy has been there, but the results didn’t seem that great. I hate Gus on the top line as his defense is horrible. Seabs should not play more than 17 minutes a game anymore so no. I would pick Joki. I think Joki can learn from Keith and after his time in Rockford and should be ready/eager to make that jump.

    1st pair: Keith and Joki

    So who should be on the second pair? de Haan? Maatta? Murphy? Dahlstrom? Murphy and Dahlstrom had that role for a lot of the year with mixed results, though Murphy was arguably the most consistent defender last year. Maatta and de Haan were brought on to shore up this role but both bring injuries and questions as to whether they can carry that load full time. I have no idea how this shakes up but I would probably guess it ends up being de Haan and Murphy. I have questions as to whether Maatta is fast enough to be going against oppositions top lines every night, but I could be pleasantly surprised.

    2nd Pair: de Haan and Murphy.

    That leaves bottom pair. Seabrook, Maatta, Gustafsson, Koekkoek and Dahlstrom? Seabrook isn’t going anywhere and will be in the lineup unless the Hawks are planning on a public shaming campaign to destroy his legacy. He will be in the lineup every night. So who out of Maatta, Koekkoek and Dahlstrom are you going to play over Gus?

    Third pair: Gustafsson and Seabrook.

    That leaves 7th D between Koekkoek, Dahlstrom and Maatta. Dahlstrom is waiver eligibe so he is likely wasting away again in rockford. So which guy does Bowman want to pay to be a health scratch most nights? KK and his .925 mil salary or Maata with his 4.083 mil salary?

    7th D: Koekkoek

    Maatta is the odd man out in this scenario.

    To me these pairings have the most balance. Everyone is playing on their natural side. Each of the slower defenseman is paired with a quicker/faster partner and no one is rally playing above their ability level like they often were last year. Joki may not be ready for the top pair load, but I think he will be.

    I really like Gus and Seabs on the bottom pair together. Both have good offensive games and they can start most shifts in the O zone.

    The only way I see Maatta/de Haan/Murphy all being on the roster is if Joki does not make the roster out of camp and Murphy replaces him on the top pair and Maatta plays on the second.

    It’s purely a numbers game with the Caveat that if Keith and/or Seabrook are on the roster and healthy they will be in the lineup. After that it is really finding the best combinations to play together.

  28. This is of course assuming that no more moves are made and the Hawks are trying to figure out where to play everyone they have signed right now.

    I fully expect more moves to happen to make this analysis completely obsolete.

  29. The objective should be to play the best 6 d-men (all things considered) because they should give you the best chance to win the game. (IMO) the best 6 d-men are Keith, de Haan, Murphy, Maatta, Jokiharju and Gustafsson – those should be the starting d-men for the majority of the games unless circumstances dictate otherwise. Seabrook isn’t likely to go anywhere with his $6.8M contract so he is the de facto 7th d-man. Dahlstrom and Koekkoek shouldn’t be on the roster unless it’s to keep one of them as the 8th d-man to have to play every once in a while to give one of the LD’s a game off.

  30. Miro, I strongly disagree with the premise of “shutdown pair”. While I understand what’s meant by the term, in actuality, the 4 other d-men playing that game that are not deemed the “shutdown pair” are supposed to shutdown the opponent too – it’s not like the other 4 d-men can suck defensively and all will be well so long as the “shutdown pair” are good at shutting down the opponent. When the of the 4 non-shutdown pair d-men are taking a shift – their primary job is to stop the opponent from scoring, no different than the shutdown pair’s primary job.

    I wouldn’t be taking issue with the notion of getting rid of Maatta or Murphy because they’re redundant – IF – we had someone who could play that was a better d-man, but Dahlstrom and Koekkoek are not better d-men than Maatta or Murphy and neither is Seabrook anymore.

    Play the best 6 d-men, even if they don’t check all the boxes of an ideal d-corps. If they’re the best 6 we have – they should be in the starting lineup.

  31. In a perfect world right now I’d like to see the Hawks open the season with

    de Haan – Gustafsson
    Maatta – Jokiharju
    Keith – Seabrook / Murphy

    with the monutes being distributed pretty evenly across the six. But we’re not seeing Murphy or Koekkoek or Dahlstrom in those six with any regularity…

  32. I could be in the minority but on the defensive side of the puck – I think Murphy is better than Seabrook. Seabrook is hands down better than Murphy in the offensive zone but not defensively. So I guess it’s what makes the team better – Seabrook’s offense or Murphy’s defense?

  33. Rationale aside Stan is not trading Maatta after just acquiring him last week

    Take out DeHaan from Tab’s line up above because he likely won’t be ready to start the year and there are your 6 for game 1

    Once DeHaan is healthy whoever has earned their spot on the D stays in and someone goes out – maybe Seabs will surprise us but if not he can be the 7th

    Otherwise leave it alone

    Last year I didn’t see Dahlstrom or anyone else who will be better then these 7

  34. Eh, realistically I don’t think the Hawks will ever embarrass Seabrook publicly by demoting him to 7th d-man. I just don’t see that happening. He still wears and “A” on his sweater. I honestly think it’s more likely they find a team willing to take on his contract in a trade than the Hawks demoting him to 7th D-man. My 2 cents.

  35. @ER, As far as shut down roles and redundancy goes what I am trying to say in a really long winded way what @Tab said succinctly that there are limited roster spots and there is the problem of at least one player who needs to not be in the lineup but will be (Seabrook).

    If I thought for a moment that the Hawks would actually demote Seabrook to the 7th defenseman, or if they could move him, than maybe I could see them keeping all three. I just can’t believe it will happen. So that is where the redundancy comes from. Three guys filling two available spots that just happen to be what I view as the 2nd pairing or the shut down pair. If the Hawks did manage to trade Seabs then I would agree that the top six as you describe it is workable.

  36. I’ve been a big Seabrook for a long time. I love the guy. BUT. He got rewarded for past service with the contract that is now constraining the team. When he signed that contract it was not with the thought that he was going to provide $6.8M worth of d-man play for 8 years – it was a thank you for what he did before he signed the new contract. That’s the reason I wouldn’t feel like benching him is disrespecting him.

    It comes down to putting winning ahead of heart warming feel good stuff or vice versa. Pick a lane. I’m in the winning is the primary objective lane which means I think the best player should be in the lineup. If Seabrook is one of the top 6 d-men, then he should play. If not, then he should be benched. Sentimentality be damned.

  37. That fact that Colliton and Seabrook have known each for quite a long time should make that process (Seabs as a 7th), if it happens, as smooth and respectful as possible

  38. Great interview on the score today. 15 minutes of Stan Bowman. Here’s the link to Jay Zawaski’s Twitter page.

    https://twitter.com/JayZawaski670

    Bottom line on Defense : Goal Prevention & Penalty Killing are big reasons for the acquisitions of deHaan and Maatta. Also, Seabrook and Keith are not getting traded they are going to be part of the “turnaround”.

    At forward, he’s looking for one or two forwards who can kill penalties. He’s only looking to offer one-year deals because he must sign Debrincat and Strome.

    Give it a listen.

  39. Welcome back SS, some good posts here again

    If Maatta is a reasonable middle pairing D, then great. I doubt that he is a better option than our 5 other guys. Would rather spend the cap space elsewhere. My biggest concern is that he could become even more dead weight on the back end in coming years. The guy was scratched for all but one playoff game like 3 months ago.

    How we feel about the de Haan trade is how Pittsburgh feels about the Maatta trade. Who cares if we got him last week. I’d feel safer to flip him again. I’ve been wrong before though…

  40. Wonder what the cost of Taylor Hall would be. One year, 5.5M or so. He might well walk after this year so NJ won’t let him go for nothing. Could be available and a much better option than Corey Perry

  41. Exactly point i was making Craig, cap space is one year illusion. A coveted fa isn’t going to take a one year deal and a high end one year rental type player doesn”t come cheap.

  42. I am for keeping the better Defensemen we have added, even though which ever are better then others.

    I to like the 4/27 pair.
    I also like the 44/5 pair.

    I would have KoKo if hes here to be 8th while 44 is ltir, then when 44 is ready do what you do.

  43. I like Hall, donot like Perry. Just want a good player and can have a line like

    20/19/good player.

    Maata can be buyout if a problem later for like .750 or something low. That caphit isint a problem, if need be.

    20/19/fa
    KB/77/88
    12/17/11
    91/64/pk fa

  44. Ian, Bowman said exactly that other day. Not really looking at good ufas because they want longer yrs. He said hes had several trade talks that wk before draft area and would continue trade talks after draft, mainly after ufa/rfa guys we had talks, then more trade talks and then ufas stuff.

    What it meant to me was were doing trades, unless we have to add by ufa, as 2nd choice/only option. Prob those pk FW players.

    I like adding a good FW by trading one more of the extra Defensemen, like 42 not one of the good ones we just got. Go FW for D, then D for FW. Get the better in every trade, from what we had. Someone said that day or before, hey we got a lot of 5-7 Defensemen any body wants some. CAR was on board with that.

    Say it again.

  45. All this sentiment for Seabrook makes little sense if you give dam about Toews and Kane and how little time they have left. Bowman’s talk is CYA for a stupid contract; anyone else (Tallon?) would have been fired for the Bickell/Seabrook contracts…both guys were a shell of the players they were before they signed. If sentiment is so important then at least think of what Bowman’s decisions are doing to Toews and Kane’s final chance at their fourth cup! I’m sure having no chance is OK with them so long as we don’t hurt Seabrook’s feelings. Really!

  46. It should be

    de Haan – Gus
    Keith – Joki
    Maata Murphy

    We absolutely shouldn’t trade Gus. There’s no guarantee that one of our young Ds can run PP like he does. Sure, Gus is meh defensively, but he isn’t any worse than EK or Klingberg. His offensive skill is close to elite.

    I’d rather we move Joki (and Seabs) to get a good PK forward.

  47. Yea man I didnt know the caphit was that low, somewhere around there, and when I read it somewhere-the caphit amount. I thought then no matter what it can be fine.

    I think he could do well. I thought he was better then that so when I first saw we got him I was pretty happy. I didnt know he had been through some stuff. From everything I read though, that might just be an off yr. Now he plays good again, in new system. What hes actually good at might work well with our new system.

    Nothing against Maata but I saw we got Hann, I was dancing with a beer. Starting to get that good chills feeling again, about roster getting to closer to where we all want it to be again.

    Not that far away now, after 2 waiting yrs.

  48. Maatta is not a trade chip at this point and will have a good year, a bounce back year. No question. He’s a good player. I wouldn’t fret so much about roster and pairings. Competing hard, playing the best we’ve got and winning some games in both Chicago and Rockford will solve everything, making life easier and more flexible.

    In some respects, everything hinges on the type of year Gus has. If he’s awesome, remaining a 60-point player and improving a little on defense, the team is winning and his trade value will be enormous.

    On the other hand, if a dumpster fire ensues, the solutions in the other direction will become equally apparent.

  49. If Vgk were to let Eakins go for dumping Clarkson ltir salary give them needed space. Both 1 yr left and not resigning Eakins wouldn’t be a big loss in that sense vs giving up prospects for him. Eakins could a penalty killing center woukd make Anisimov expendable also.
    That would leave room not to get burnt on bonus overages and if he wanted another fwd, would have to move cap from blueline, either now or during season. Murphy to me could be likely candidate for that, if Seabrook staying put.

  50. Meant he could add another 3 or 4m caphit fwd this summer on top of Eakins deal and wouldn’t have to move cap right away could do it during season for prospects type of thing, to prevent overages./picks

  51. Donskoi on a bit of term deal and last year of Eakins contract for taking Clarksons, if Dach makes it as top 6 or even 9 winger this year as a bonus and that should be a better looking fwd group.

  52. After the Cap was adjusted down to $81.5M and after the Hawks acquired de Haan’s $4.55M contract – that’s essentially the $6M that would have been used for Clarkson’s LTIR contract. I’m not sure the Hawks have enough cap space to do one of those 1-year albatross contracts anymore. There might be a way to finagle it somehow but that window is considerably tighter than it was.

  53. EB the room is there but then to sign a Donskoi only if the thought is to move a defensman caphit at somepoint, now or during season to account for overages.

    If Keith, De haan, Maatta are the left defensemen and Gus, Murphy and Seabrook the right, for argument sake. The next 2 on left are Beaudin and Vlasic, Joki and Boqvist on right. Obviously right side going need room first so Gus not enough caphit, Seabrook not moving, Murphy would look like the one. Also bring more value in a trade too, could use Maatta as bait to get to Murphy type thing too.

    Just a way to get some use of the space that has to be there next summer until then.

  54. This probably wouldn’t affect Corey Perry either as he is likely to sign for 1 m or so caphit and couple mil in performance bonuses, he’d just replace a low cost salary likely.

  55. I would think with VGK in cap trouble they won’t be dictating the terms of a trade and therefore no reason to take on Clarkson’s contract

    Probably get Eakins like they did de Haan only cheaper because he only has 1 year left

    say Dennis Gilbert and a 3rd round pick or maybe just a 3rd

  56. Wrap you could be right, just depends on how much interest other teams have in Eakins i guess.

  57. Chicago already has enough aging veterans.

    Let Corey Perry be absolutely useless on a different team.

  58. Stape i don’t disagree, just pointing out he would have minimal impact next year on capspace most likely.

  59. Mo, the $12M cap space is with only 7 forwards. Filling out the roster to 13 forwards by signing our RFAs will consume $6M-$7M leaving around $5M in cap space.

  60. The weekend recap was a previous thread that no one is looking at any longer. I have read a lot of team reviews of the draft and, as most of us know, several said (including local Sun-Times, Da Windy City, blackhawkup) that the Blackhawks reached in selecting Dach. The main logic used was that Byram was the consensus #3 and Turcotte #4. Since management assessed that a center was the greatest need, they had to pass on the d-man. Criticism of passing on Turcotte? Fair enough. Time will tell. On most boards Dach was rated #5-7, not much of a reach.

    In this terrific analysis on LA’s draft, the writer says that if Dach were available at #5, LA would have selected him:

    https://www.jewelsfromthecrown.com/2019-nhl-draft/2019/6/25/18713909/2019-los-angeles-kings-nhl-draft-a-deeper-look-alex-turcotte-arthur-kaliyev-rob-blake

    The idea some suggested about trading down for Dach is complete nonsense.

    Notice a couple of familiar names which appear in the review of the Kaliyev pick: DeBrincat and Strome. Strome is just 22 and has not reached his ceiling. Lots to look forward to in the coming seasons.

  61. Theres 8 d included in that swap one for forward of equal value , the assumption is Anismov is moved. Bowman avoided arbitration with Kampf by not qualifying him and getting cap friendly deal , Perlini snd Sikura be low hits, Kubalik, the 4 of them not going to be alot more than Anismov caphit. So in reality there would still be close to the 12m for 3 spots, most of it a one year deal only.

  62. I just saw three of the Hawks’ d-prospects are going to be playing in the Chicago Pro League this summer (starting July 10th) – Boqvist, Beaudin and Vlassic. I saw in recent days that Kane, Toews, DeBrincat, Strome and Murphy will also be playing, along with some other NHL players and prospects. The rosters of the (4) teams are posted on their website, although I think some additional players may be added.

    https://www.chicagoprohockeyleague.com/

  63. Seabs is a pro and understands how this game works. If he sits it’s not about “shaming him”. When he arrived he pushed someone else out. I’m sure he believes that he still can contribute but knows that it’s the coach’s call as to who gives the Hawks the best chance of winning and that’s who he puts on the ice. If the coach believes that someone other than Seabs will play and Seabs will sit, Seabs will swallow his pride and be a good teammate.

  64. Original, thats why from what I have read, COL and LA wanted Dach to. More then Byram and Turcotte. That means something that the pro team scouts were thinking. You could see it by how some others that were being, talked, about went later like Zegras instead of Zegras going 5th.

    Who knows but if Byram was that good he would have been in mix for 2nd pick. Teams picking Dach and Turcotte and not Zegras, shows Dach was thought more highly then them. If that makes any sense.

  65. Keep posting the players with caphits so people know where were at and which spots to fill, like that.

  66. From what I’ve been told by people in LA there’s no way Dach lasted past 5. If he was the Hawks’ guy, they needed to take him at 3. Colorado was going to take Byram if he got to 4 because now they can move Tyson Barrie.

  67. re: O6 – ” The main logic used was that Byram was the consensus #3 and Turcotte #4.” Then why was Dach ranked higher in the final rankings (and midterm for that matter) than Turcotte? (asking the rhetorical question again, not putting O6 on blast)

    Fans bought into the Turcotte-is-from-Chicago narrative. His name was linked most, which (if you’ve paid attention over the last decade) usually means he’s NOT going to happen.

  68. ER – Interesting info on the CPHL thanks.

    I’m thinking there’s not a lot of heavy hitting going on, mostly skills like the all star game…???

  69. In Montreal we hear rumors about Gus and another d man for ?
    Hope we can ger Daneault in the trade .

  70. Joey, the CPHL games are more competitive than all star games but they’re not even close to the intensity and physicality of “real” games. The games have scores like 9-7, but they’re hockey games in the middle of summer played by a bunch of NHL players and prospects – so I find them cool to follow.

  71. A poster on another Hawks blog suggested a couple trades that make a lot of sense to me and fit very well with filling out the roster for the 2019/20 season and not hamstringing Stan to get Cat and Strome re-signed for 2020/21.

    The primary objective for this off season was to improve the defense to significantly reduce the goals against. That objective included 5v5 defense and the PK.

    The additions of Maatta and deHaan addressed the needed improvement of the d-corps within the objective. The following trades address the forward lines within the objective.

    Trade#1: acquire Frolik from Calgary for draft pick(s). Calgary needs cap space so offloading Frolik’s $4.3M cap hit should entice them to make the trade. From the Hawks perspective, Frolik is a terrific PK’er and he’s on an expiring contract so that $4.3M comes off the books after 2019/20.

    Trade#2: acquire Pageau from Ottawa for Anisimov after July 1st so the Hawks pay AA’s $2M signing bonus. Ottawa is the opposite of Calgary in that they need help to get up to the Cap floor. AA’s $4.55M cap hit is $1.45M more than Pageau’s $3.1M which helps them reach the floor, plus they only have to pay Anisimov $2M in actual dollars this year and $3M in actual dollars in 2020/21 and still get to use the $4.55M cap hit both years. From the Hawks perspective, Pageau can play either 3C or 4C and is a good faceoff guy, winning 55% overall and 51% on the PK. And like Frolik, Pageau is on an expiring contract so his $3.1M comes off the books after 2019/20.

    Just to stick my neck out a little bit – I will assume Dach makes the team out of training camp.

    Sikura-Toews-Kane
    Cat-Strome-Perlini
    Saad-Dach-Kubalik
    Caggiula-Pageau-Frolik

  72. See the Stars didn’t qualify Hartman, an ufa now. Wonder if Bowman would give him a cheap 1 yr. show me contract. Either way option to get him back and effectively got Kurashev and Beaudin, Edjsell too for nothing.

  73. Ian – was thinking the same thing about Hartman although you have to wonder if there are other reasons why he has moved 3 times in a year. I would much rather see guys like Hartman and Eakins than someone like Pageau who is another smurf. We need to develop a good, tough 4th line – I think Kampf can play that role but not sure who else on the current roster (possibly Caggiula).

  74. Thanks ER!

    No one wants to get hurt, but still play hard. Sounds like the “A” league at Johnnys ice house, but more intense.

  75. Hawks should maybe try to get Marleau who was bought out today by Carolina…maybe get him at 1.5 millions for a year ..he had 16 goals 37 pts in all 82 games.

  76. Ms thats why i was hoping Entwistle would make the team and add little size to bottom 6, plys help pk.
    2010 i think Marleau is on his way back to San Jose, thats been talked about since last fall. He would be worth a one year deal for minimal hit though.

  77. Tab, Bob McKenzie and others had Byram #3 and Turcotte #4. Most mocks had Turcotte going 3rd and Byram 4th, or vice versa. My mistake: most boards ranked Dach from #4-6. You are right about Turcotte fitting a nice Chicago narrative, which influenced a number of mocks.

    The final mock draft by both mynhldraft.com and Bleacher Report had Dach going #4 to COL. Mo, you are right: Dach would have been gone by #5. The “experts” who said he was a reach are a joke.

    Kudos to Bowman who went with who he thought was the best player available long-term. I agree with his decision. Have now read more about him from Saskatoon Blades fans and others. A big takeaway is: Do not rush him. Let him develop for a year and grow into his body. I hope we do not see him until 20/21. I think we are going to be thrilled with this pick.

  78. I can’t imagine Marleau would sign a 1-year low cost deal with the Hawks when his heart is in San Jose. Maybe if SJ tells him to GTFO but I doubt they would do that.

  79. O6 – what did you expect the Blades fans to say – they want him back on the team for one more year. If he’s ready – he’s ready. If he’s not – he’s not. If it’s not clear cut – give 9 games and then make a decision.

  80. The Hartman trade. The gift that keeps on giving.
    1st, Kurachev, Edsell, wow.

    Beau and Kurachev for Hartman.
    Debrincat for Shaws picks.

    Yea Bowman sucks.

  81. I think, do not know, that the teams scouts had Dach before Byram and Turcotte. That COL and LA would have picked Dach, like we did, before them.

    Also that those 3 players were not going 6ht or later though. So yea those whineing and writing articles like that are bogus. But thats ok most blogs/boards are not as good as this one and one or so others. Most are like espn and fbook quality of people.

  82. Even if hes not ready for 82 games after first 9 games, if he plays first 9, why cant he develope in Rockford until the 2nd 40 games, when he prob be ready by then.

    Wouldnt AHL be better for develop then juniors, since hes that good, but if not for 82 from game 1.

  83. Time will tell on Dach playing next season, probably strong chance he goes back for a year. Got like the thought of

    Saad Toews Dach together, though.

  84. Mo Dach has to go back to juniors, Chl agreement, only Europeans on loan can go to Ahl as a teenager.
    Love to get Denault back.
    Imagine
    Saad Toews Dach
    Kubalik Denault Kane
    Debrincat Strome Perlini/Sikura
    Cagguila Kampf Fa

  85. Having listened to Stan’s interview on the Score, it sounds like he is NOT going big game hunting. The top players want term. Stan is not giving that. So if we’re looking for penalty killers on one years deals.

    I’d consider Valteri Fillpula, (17 goals as a 3rd line Center), see what Brandon Tanev of Winnipeg is seeking as well.

    If Fillpula comes. Auction off Anisimov to teams that are looking for a big Center.

  86. Wasnt sure, thought something maybe.

    I would say play 4 or 5 so you have 4 or 5 in spring for same thing.

    So if he juniors for season, he cant play until juniors team season, then he could play NHL.

  87. Yea after 1st or 2nd day of draft Bowman said same thing, not as blunt. Several talks about trades before draft and after draft. He would look at ufas if need be, and said then too that those ufas usually want yrs so prob wouldnt do that. When he said that at draft from then on I am thinking trade trade trade trade.

    Get more good players by trade.

    Wonder who we get for role players. Like usual not who, most, think or talk about.

  88. Like AA, an honest player but we need to move that crazy contract. Murphy needs to go as well. He is too slow and at his young age, has never cracked the top floor. handles the puck like a hot potato and plays like one too. Good guy but maybe Buffalo would bite or the Jets can be had for Murphy. MAATTA, SEABS (who is still serviceable) and Murphy are all slow. Da Haan is injury prone but is a top 4 on this team, ahead of Murphy. Maatta good IQ but slow. Being younger and at 3.8,million, Murphy can be trade bait. Calle Rosen with the Leafs is available. Or if Boqvist makes it, then trade Murphy for a winger. Someone like Ferland or Lemieux in NY?
    Need to upgrade 4th line too! Tanev, Lowry or Kuraly.

  89. Central Scouting had Byram at #2 behind Hughes for NA players and Dach at #3 ahead of Turcotte

    The reach angle is way off – Dach was always a legit possibility at #3 in the draft along with a handful of others – I thought they would take Byram but understand their choice of Dach – no reach at all – in fact Dach was who I thought they’d take if they passed on Byram

    My instinct is that Dach starts the year in CHI – whether he stays is another question

  90. Yea Dach makes roster. Thats why I was thinking he could do what Saader did but I guess he would have to stay whole 82 games.

    I like 77 on line with 19 for a big head to head line like 20 29 81. Also like the 3rd line options with 77 and then with 88. Which has 12 17 for a 3rd? line. Holy shht.

    20 19 ?
    ? 77 88
    12 17 ?
    roll 4 lines

  91. Mo they can keep Dach as many games as they want, all 10 games means is he burns an elc year which is usually no big deal if they want to look at him. Just has to back to juni9rs if theydecide not to keep until their season ends. 40 games usually the one that they worry about, for fa eligibility.

  92. Phillip Danault would defenitly be my first choice to bring back to Chicago ..he is 26 …fo at 55% …the problem here is that Canadiens will not move him i think except iff they get Gus and another good player …would the take Saad also in a big 4-6 players transaction.??? I know Bergevin is high on Beaudin and would like to get him in Montreal after failing to get him last year in the draft. ..let what the Hawks will do in the next 3 days .
    ( Shaw could also be on the move i think ) one thing that i am sure ,Hawks have a lot of Dman and Montreal need 1 or 2 Dman.

  93. Wouldn’t rule out Riley Sheahan as an ufa signing either. 2010 thats a big price for Denault. Not sure on that

  94. yeah, I’m not sure where Gus + Saad + Beaudin for Danault makes any sense at all… esp after you just drafted a center…

    Love me some Danault and hated that trade from the second it was announced but overpaying to bring a guy back doesn’t erase the first mistake, it multiplies it.

    That being said, if they’d take Anisimov + Gus for him I’ll pay the airfare….

  95. Omb no no …i didnt mean the 3 guys for Danault …it was more like a choice for 2 of those players…
    I really like your idea Anisimov plus Gus… … ;)
    I also think that Dahlstrom could be moving ..Beaudin is french and Bergevin needs a few french guy on the team …ut i would prefer to keep him and see .
    I need to practice more my english :)

  96. Murphy for Kapanen

    Even though TOR just signed Kap they still have to move at least 1 if not 2 players out depending on what else they want to do other than sign Marner

    TOR needs RH D (Murphy) and we need a FW who can PK and forecheck and score a bit (Kapenen)

  97. Mo like your lines. With what we have I would insert
    Saad Toews Caggulia
    Kubalik Dach Kane
    DCat Strome Perlini
    Quenville Anisinov Kampf

    Use the fourth line to show case trade bait early. Also to bring up young talent for a cup of coffee. In offensive draws move up Anisimov to have two centers.

    I’m old school so would want to see if we are getting manhandled early to go out and get a fourth line muscle line. Add a Haley maybe Hartman Perry.

  98. What are people smoking? How do you possibly think Dach is your #2 center next year?

    In Strome’s draft year he had 129 points in 68 games and was a plus 47. Dach had 73 points in 62 games and was a plus 15.

    Even the most optimistic of us has to know that Dach playing for the Hawks next year is a stretch. Playing as the number 2 center is just crazy.

  99. Good point B-2 but you need to see what you have. Not saying you leave him there if he’s going terrible. You start someone where he has a chance to excel. Give him confidence not a place where he is going to fail. You also tell him before anything that you are just looking at him with intentions of sending him down after so many games. Guess what you do if he’s doing good?

  100. Thanks Ian, I knew 10 game thing and most of it just forgot about the juniors part. I guess Saader played a yr of juniors before the way 2013 went with lockout and things.

  101. B-2. Strong point but you cant look at it as purely numbers. I ultimately dont believe Dach will be on the roster past ten games but for arguments sake lets look at Ryan O’Reilly in his draft year. 68G 16G 50A 66P +1 and went to skate 81 games for the avalanche the next year. IF he makes the team better due to all around play why not see what he has and figure out out after ten games.

  102. Mo gotta wonder if having both Boqvists and Dachs elc deals coming due the same year matters. Bowman have the ability to stagger them by letting one burn an elc this year and letting other one slide next season.
    Could see Boqvist staying until Dehaan returns, for a trial assessment and burning his first year elc too.

  103. I hope that Dach is able to make the Hawks out of camp, but I think it would be irresponsible of Bowman to make that assumption in shaping the roster. Bowman has to find a replacement for Anisimov this year without expecting Dach to be it. If Dach makes the roster, great, the Hawks have an extra center and they can shield him if he gets overwhelmed. If he doesn’t make the roster, the Hawks still have an upgrade over AA.

    I like the idea of moving Anisimov for Pageau. Despite his diminutive stature, he seems to have a nice two way game and would fit in will in the Hawks as the interim #3C. Other options could work too. Scott Powers on the Athletic listed a lot of guys who could fit the criteria of short term fix/upgrade over AA (UFA who may agree to one year deals or trades for expiring contracts.) Not sure I like everyone on his list, but some make sense to me. Eakin and Pageau stand out the most to me…

  104. Call it the 3rd line. Hes good enough to play, when hes that fresh, then play. ONly be in top 9 so that has to be 2nd or 3rd line center.

    Dach might not be ideal experienced center for 2nd line right off the draft. He is though one of those kind of players, like 19 88, that hes going to soooo good, get him in there. Not ready yet, fine.

    Even if that is the lines and hes ready, not until the 2nd 40 games, fine.

    My thoughts is when hes ready, that would be sweet lines to have the big 6 balanced like that.

    We had the big 4
    19 88 10 81

    Then we got Saader and had the big 5
    19 88 10 81 20

    By getting Bread Man for free, Bowman cough Bowman, we got Saader back.
    Now Hockey Gods rewarded us with, proper, justice for 29 & 81, with draft lottery top 3 pick, we have the big 6
    19 88 12 17 20 77

    Will have 3 wicked lines. A line with Dach passing Kaner magic Kubalik shot. Yeah baby.

  105. Interesting thought. make difference for other players on 23man around that by doing that which ever way. Ultimately going to both get higher caphits.

    Maybe, I do not know, like 12 and 17. One is going to be real high and the other a normal caphit for a good player. Can see Dach getting how ever much like 12 and BoQ getting more like 17, kind of a thing. Anyway two players with caphits, core player type caphits, at different highs.

  106. How about more like:

    Anders Lee – Toews – Kane
    DeBrincat – Strome – Kubalik
    Saad – Dach – Wedin
    Perlini/Sikura – Anisimov – Cagguila/Quenneville

  107. Loading lines up like that are good. Thats the thoughts I had with having that d smack or other elite player on 1st line, the other wk.

    I do want to add another good player ufa/trade. We can move a caphit to add another if need be.

    Were really ready to get roster full now. Load them up. Roll 4 lines.

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